As a retail worker, there are moments that you ask yourself: why am I even here?
Who appreciates the work I do? Is it even worth being here, given the way we are being treated? This is something that all retail workers are facing everyday before they start work, terrified of what their shift will bring.
As most of the country is locked down, retail workers are still turning up to work, risking our own health to ensure everyone has access to essential things for their family. I work at Aldi. Just at our store alone I have heard more rude comments and remarks from customers in the past few weeks than I have during all of last year.
Every person you serve at the register has something to say about your store and what they are unhappy with.
“Have you changed your gloves?”
“Do you feel safe?”
“Tell me why there is no stock on the shelves?”
It is becoming so overwhelming for staff. In a time of suffering we are attacking each other rather than lending a hand to the community. Customers have been seen yelling at staff – even throwing things at them – as a result of panic buying.
Supermarkets have had to hire security guards to ensure the safety of staff.
We have never had security guards at the store I work in, but now staff feel unsafe to come to work and need someone there to watch over us during the day to help us feel at ease.
Toilet paper has been running out the doors in a matter of 10 minutes as the queues are long when the store first opens in the morning.
A work colleague of mine spoke to me regarding customers she has had run-ins with over the past week. “You need to order more stock, it’s bullshit. You guys are open when there’s nothing to sell.”
On the other hand, on some days there are also amazing customers that really do make a difference to your day. In my store, one customer left a note: “Thank-you for working so hard at this time, we appreciate your efforts/patience.”
These type of gestures from customers really brighten your day in such a busy and crazy time and it demonstrates that some people do appreciate what you are doing.